The story is of two quiet children, Lily and Jack, who learn to communicate through music
A page from The Speaking Piano (artwork by Little Pink Pebble)

Music written by James Humberstone to be performed by primary school-aged children

Small Stars (2012)

Text by Khayshie Tilak-Ramesh. SSA Choir, String Orchestra. Commissioned and premiered by Girton Grammar School. Note: strings parts are for senior performers, but a piano reduction is available to replace strings. Click here to download the Small Stars Score

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The Speaking Piano (2012)

An outreach project for the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium of Music, premiered by Michael Kieran Harvey. Includes music for beginner and intermediate piano players, a classroom (pitched and unpitched percussion) arrangement, and concert music for a professional. Associated resources include an illustrated story book, a free eBook for iPad and a webapp. The Speaking Piano has…

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This piece is part of my Symphony of the Child, commissioned and premiered by the International Grammar School in Sydney in 2009. It uses alternating six-eight and three-four time signatures, like a Flamenco, and is perfect for middle school classes to perform. In this unit of work students move from performing the piece in class to…

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Daedalus and Icarus (revision – 2009)

Text by John Hughes. Four part children’s Choir, solo Violin, String Quartet, Piano. The revision was premiered by MLC School under James Humberstone at Angel Placea and again in 2011 at the International School of Beijing. Download a sample of the score.

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Symphony of the Child (2009)

Orchestra, extended Percussion, SATB Choir. Note: each movement of the Symphony is for different aged children. The first movement was designed for pre-school and primary school children with senior orchestra and professional trumpeter. The singing and percussion parts for primary children are very simple. The second movement is more suitable to middle school children (late primary to…

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Nocturna’s Stars (2008)

Four part children’s Choir, Harp, String Quartet. Commissioned and premiered by MLC School at the Sydney Opera House under Anna Humberstone. Download a sample of the score, and watch the premiere performance below.

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Kiravanu (2008)

Kiravanu (2008). Text by Mary Elizabeth. Children’s Opera with a wide range of vocal and instrumental parts for children aged 5 to 12 with pit orchestra (Fl, Ob, Tbn, Hp, Strings). Kiravanu has its own website: Commissioned and premiered by MLC School. Click here to download the sample teaching Kit [video_lightbox_vimeo5 video_id=”5533662″ width=”640″ height=”480″ anchor=”×148.png”%5D NEED…

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Daedalus and Icarus (2006)

Text by John Hughes. Four boy sopranos, solo trumpet, piano and strings. Commissioned and premiered by Sydney Grammar School, St Ives. See the revised version (2009) for a recoring. Download a sample of the Daedalus 2006 score.

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The Future (2005)

Orff ensemble, Electric Keyboards, samples, Piano, Descant Choir, Percussion, Violin ensemble. Commissioned and premiered by Aitken College, Vic. Download a sample of The Future score.

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Today is Tomorrow Beginning (2002)

Text by Maxine Leary. Orchestra and Descant Choir in 2 parts. See also the 2006 revision under middle school music which includes extended Orff ensemble (could possibly be performed by older primary school children). Commissioned and premiered by Martin Smith and the Sydney Grammar School Prep, St Ives. Download a sample of the Today is Tomorrow Beginning…

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Simple Suite for Strings (1999)

String Orchestra. A very simple suite for beginner string ensembles which will introduce a few new pitches outside D major. Download a sample of the score

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